Facil or A piece of cake: Does variability in bilingual language brokering experience affect idiom comprehension? Academic Article uri icon


  • Compared to studies of the effects of formal training in translation, little is known about the psycholinguistic impact of the experience of informal translation, or language brokering. The present study examined this issue in the context of idiom comprehension. Bilingual adults differing in prior brokering experience read English idioms and judged whether target words presented in English or Spanish were related to the idiom's meaning. For brokers, relatedness judgments were not affected by whether the targets were in the same or different language as the idiom; however, non-brokers were faster for same-language than different-language idiom-target pairings. The findings suggest that language brokering experience facilitates idiom meaning comprehension even across language boundaries, with further differences related to idiom decomposability. More generally, the findings underscore the importance of considering systematic sources of variability in language practice among bilinguals, aside from differences related to proficiency, in theorizing effects associated with bilingualism.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Lopez, B. G., & Vaid, J.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Lopez, Belem G||Vaid, Jyotsna

publication date

  • March 2018